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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

A Look at Upcoming Iraqi Elections; Is Depression Contagious?

Aired January 24, 2005 - 19:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


ANDERSON COOPER, HOST: Good evening from Amman, Jordan. I'm Anderson Cooper.
Less than a week away from Iraq's elections. The stakes are high, and so is the danger.

360 starts now.

ANNOUNCER: Iraqi election -- workers walking out, fearing retaliation from insurgents. Tonight, meet a man risking his life for the future of Iraq.

Set to die, serial killer Michael Ross admits killing eight women, and tells the courts he wants to die for his crimes. So why did a judge today postpone his execution?

An unthinkable crime in the aftermath of disaster, caught on tape, bandits robbing corpses killed by the tsunami.

Our special series, Conquering Depression. Tonight, is depression contagious? News anchor Mike Wallace and his wife talk candidly about the devastating effect the disease had on their family, and how it nearly drove him to suicide.

And the trial of the century, 10 years later. A 360 interview with Denise Brown about the legacy of her sister Nicole and coping with watching O.J. walk free.

ANNOUNCER: Live from the CNN Broadcast Center in New York, this is ANDERSON COOPER 360.

COOPER: And good evening again. Welcome from Amman, Jordan. I'm Anderson Cooper. I'm on my way to Baghdad to cover the elections. I'm in Amman, Jordan, tonight.

And the work of the election goes on. Over the weekend, Abu Mousab al-Zarqawi, the Jordanian terrorist mastermind in -- believed to be in Iraq still, vowed to do whatever he could to prevent the elections.

Nevertheless, the planning continues. Iraq's electoral commission says as many as half of Iraq's 27 million people could go to the polls over the weekend. It, of course, all depends on the security.

But on the security front, there was some good news. A man believed to be Abu Mousab al-Zarqawi's right-hand man, a man believed to have run some 30 car bombings in Iraq, has been arrested by coalition forces. Abu Omar al-Kurdi (ph) is his name. And he is believed responsible for this bombing, the U.N. attack in August of 2003, which destroyed U.N. headquarters and killed the U.N. special envoy.

Another positive note tonight, U.S. troops with the 1st Cavalry Division stage a series of raids in Baghdad, which netted a huge cache of weapons, including grenade launchers, AK-47s, artillery rounds, and cell phones. Among those arrested was an Iraqi policeman.

Despite the ongoing violence, the hard work of trying to get these elections off the ground continues. There are constant threats. People are literally risking their lives to make this election happen.

CNN's Nic Robertson profiles one Iraqi election worker who is trying his best to bring some form of democracy to Iraq.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): In a darkened warehouse, already filling with election materials, Mosul's only fully trained election official is under pressure. Brought in to replace the city's 700 electoral workers who quit because of intimidation, he is behind in preparations.

He too is afraid of potential violence, and asked we do not identify him.

His biggest concern, though, is recruiting enough staff.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Last night I called the independent electoral commission in Iraq and told them, I need more staff, and they said they'll send everybody as soon as they can.

ROBERTSON: Hundreds more election workers are expected, many from out of town, and many likely warming to the promise of more than $500 for just a few days' work.

(on camera): The challenge over the next few days will be sorting through these mountains of election material, preparing the right numbers of ballot boxes and papers for all the individual polling stations.

(voice-over): On election day, traffic will be banned to minimize the risk of terror attacks, meaning voters will have to walk to the polls. And although he doesn't know how many people will turn out, he is sure they do want the elections.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We feel and we know our people want to vote, that they want a new government. We can feel that. They worry about security, but they can see the coalition and Iraqi forces are making it safer.

ROBERTSON: So critical is his role running the elections in Mosul, when one of the U.S.'s top generals came to town, he got a handshake and words of encouragement.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We just wanted to get the electoral commission guys together with the intervention force brigade commanders as an example of how they're going to work together to pull off this election.

ROBERTSON: The bottom line, from everyone involved, Mosul's elections will happen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is my duty. I do it for my country. In the future, I'll be able to tell my sons, and my sons' sons, about it. My name will go down in the history of Iraq.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROBERTSON: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) just a few hours ago, I had an update from the officials in Mosul. They are still very short of people to run the electoral polling stations, and they say the time pressure is even greater than it was a few days ago. They're really coming down to the wire there, Anderson.

COOPER: Certainly are. Nic Robertson in Sulamania (ph) tonight, thanks very much, Nic.

Now to America's most wanted, Osama bin Laden. Some new information to report. The reward for Osama bin Laden, currently $25 million, is about to be raised. Now the U.S. is considering doubling reward to $50 million for anybody who provides information leading to bin Laden's capture.

The U.S. is also taking new steps to be sure that anybody who is in a position to help gets the message about the new reward.

Details now from State Department correspondent Andrea Koppel.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANDREA KOPPEL, CNN STATE DEPARTMENT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The State Department is considering the $25 million increase in order to heat up a trail for bin Laden that's gone cold. In addition, the State Department says a new ad began appearing this month in one of Pakistan's most widely read newspapers and will eventually expand to radio and TV.

It targets Pakistanis in border areas, where bin Laden and some of his top operatives, including his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and Taliban leader Mullah Omar, may be hiding, reminding Pakistanis they could make up to $25 million for tips leading to an arrest or conviction.

JOHN ASHCROFT, ATTORNEY GENERAL: Following the September 11...

KOPPEL: Since the so-called Rewards for Justice program launched its post-9/11 most-wanted list, it's had limited success. One of the biggest al Qaeda arrests occurred in March 2003, when Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, a bin Laden deputy and one of the masterminds of 9/11, was captured alive in Pakistan, while in July 2003, the U.S. paid a $30 million reward to an Iraqi informant after Saddam Hussein's two sons died in a shootout with American forces.

The State Department defended its record.

ADAM ERELI, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN: The trend line is clearly in our favor, if you consider the fact that most of the al Qaeda leaders are either dead or in jail...

KOPPEL: But critics say the State Department's expectation that tribal-based societies like Pakistan and Afghanistan will turn over bin Laden or other top al Qaeda operatives, if, in fact, they are there, is misguided.

(on camera): As for doubling the $25 million bounty on bin Laden, the State Department says that's a decision for secretary of state designate Condoleezza Rice.

Andrea Koppel, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: I'll be back with more from Amman, Jordan, a little bit later.

Right now, let's go back to New York and my colleague, Heidi Collins, for more of today's news. Heidi?

HEIDI COLLINS, HOST: All right, Anderson, thanks so much.

There was an antiabortion rally in Washington, D.C., today, one day after the 32nd anniversary of the Supreme Court decision that made the procedure legal. However many people attended the rally, D.C. police put the crowd at 1,000. Organizers claim 10,000.

They heard by phone from someone who is on their side, the president.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: ... seeking common ground where possible and persuading increasing numbers of our fellow citizens of the rightness of our cause. This is the path and the culture of life that we seek for our country, and...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COLLINS: But then common ground on this particular subject is pretty hard to come by, even common ground in the form of a last resting place.

CNN's Sean Callebs reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SEAN CALLEBS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was a solemn ceremony. Scores of parishioners from Sacred Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Boulder, Colorado, came to watch their priest perform burial services for the cremated ashes of aborted fetuses and remains from miscarriages. Many on hand adamantly opposed to abortion say they felt an obligation to attend.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It just seemed important to pay respect to the babies that have been aborted.

CALLEBS: In these bags, the ashes of somewhere between 300 and 500 aborted fetuses, according to the church. Even before they were laid to rest, the ceremony gave rise to controversy. The ashes were given to the Catholic Church by Crist Mortuary in Boulder, and this without the knowledge of the doctor who performed many of the abortions, Warren Hern.

DR. WARREN HERN, BOULDER ABORTION CLINIC: It's turning something that is a difficult, painful, private act into a public spectacle. They're making a -- the church is making a circus out of this for their own political purpose.

CALLEBS: The church had quietly been burying ashes from aborted fetuses off and on since 1996, and say they have buried as many as 5,000 aborted fetuses. But church volunteers deny they were trying to make a political statement.

SUSAN LAVELLE, SACRED HEART OF MARY CHURCH: The church wanted to bury these ashes of these unborn children because we believe that that the moment of conception they have life.

CALLEBS: She says this service gives the remains dignity. Hern says the ceremony played out in such a public forum, many of his patients feel a huge sense of violation.

HERN: It creates a great deal of pain for them to deal with this again. They didn't ask for this to happen. They didn't want it to happen. They want to put it behind them.

CALLEBS: Hern demanded the ashes back before the Sunday service. He says the mortuary returned half. The doctor says he's ending his association with Crist Mortuary. And church volunteers say, with all the controversy, it's unrealistic to think they could ever have such a ceremony again.

Sean Callebs, CNN, Boulder, Colorado.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COLLINS: The attorney general's good-bye, that tops our look at news cross-country now.

Washington, D.C., John Ashcroft gave a farewell address to his staff at the Justice Department today. Colleagues praised his leadership, though he's been a lightning rod for critics of the Bush administration's war on terror. Ashcroft will leave as soon as his successor, Alberto Gonzales, is confirmed by the Senate. That is expected later this week. At the Supreme Court, a ruling in the case of Terry Schiavo, a severely brain-damaged Florida woman. The court refused to step in to keep her hooked up to a feeding tube, all but ending a long right-to- die battle pitting her husband against her parents.

A new problem concerning embryonic stem cell lines approved for controversial federally funded research. Turns out they may be useless. According to a new study, the lines may have been contaminated with a foreign molecule from mice and other animals. That may make them risky for medical therapy in humans.

And in Boston, in fact throughout the Northeast, for that matter, digging out from the weekend blizzard. The storm dumped nearly three feet of snow on parts of Massachusetts. Airports were still struggling to get up to speed today. There were school closings from Maine to parts of Virginia.

And that's a look at stories cross-country tonight.

360 next, caught on tape, robbing from the dead, those killed by the tsunami. Are police in Sri Lanka losing control?

And the O.J. Simpson murder trial 10 years later, the emotion still raw. You'll hear from Nicole Brown Simpson's sister.

Plus, execution postponed. Michael Ross admits to killing eight women and wants to die. But is he competent to make that decision?

First, though, your picks, the most popular stories on CNN.com right now.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLLINS: This was supposed to be the second-to-last night of Michael Ross's life. The convicted serial killer and rapist was scheduled to be executed by lethal injection on Wednesday. But those plans might change since a federal judge in Connecticut has ordered the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) a postponement over questions concerning Ross's mental capacity.

CNN's Deborah Feyerick has that story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For Detective Michael Malchik, there's no question that the serial killer he captured two decades ago is mentally competent.

DET. MICHAEL MALCHIK, CAUGHT MICHAEL ROSS: This is a man who graduated from Cornell. He has an IQ of 122. He knew where to hide the bodies. In this case he hid the body so we couldn't find it. He avoided the police for two and a half or three years while he killed women from New York to Connecticut. I think he's absolutely competent.

FEYERICK: Two juries have said Michael Ross should die. He has given up his right to appeal, certain he'll never get a life sentence, certain he wants to end the pain lived every day by Edwin Shellie (ph) and the other parents whose daughters he killed.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL ROSS: This is how I felt 10 years ago. And I believe that's my right. And I don't think there's anything crazy or incompetent about that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FEYERICK: But now a federal judge isn't so sure, in part because of this taped interview Ross gave in December to a court-appointed psychiatrist.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROSS: If they came and said, Here, life sentence today, I'd take it, because not to take it would be suicide.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FEYERICK: In both trials, Ross tried to show that an uncontrollable mental illness caused him to kill his victims. He now takes several medications to control what he calls sexual sadism.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His decision is complex. He's always described it as, he's trying to do the lesser of two wrongs. He's trying to accomplish what he thinks is more correct or just, by ending this process and ending the torture that the victims' families go through.

FEYERICK: But Detective Malchik believes even before the medications, Ross knew what he was doing. As proof, he points to the death of one of Ross's victims walking along this busy country road.

MALCHIK: If he's out of control, why didn't he rape her right between the white lines on Route 12? I mean, he waited until there was no cars coming, pulled her into the woods far enough away so nobody would hear anything, and then after he killed her, he did the thing with the stone wall.

FEYERICK: Her body found entombed in this stone wall.

Lawyers fighting to keep Ross alive against his will claim Ross suffers from what's called death row syndrome.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Michael Ross's will to live and his ability to make a free choice is overwhelmed, and that he's not voluntarily choosing to die.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FEYERICK: So what happens next? The federal judge stayed the execution until a hearing can take place to determine whether Ross is truly competent. Prosecutors are determined to fight that, taking it to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

And as for Michael Ross, his personal lawyer tells CNN he was frustrated and upset that his last 36 hours alive were thrown into such confusion. He has spent time today, and tomorrow he will visit with family, spiritual advisers, and people he's known for a long time. Sister Helen Prejean, who wrote "Dead Man Walking," is scheduled to visit him tomorrow, Heidi.

COLLINS: Wow. All right. Deb Feyerick, thanks so much.

A Holocaust survivor says the world could have prevented recent genocide. That tops our look at global stories now in the uplink.

At the U.N., Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel said the mass murder in Darfur, Cambodia, Bosnia, and Rwanda may have been avoided if the world listened to the lessons of the Holocaust. He questioned whether countries of today have the will to prevent future genocide.

Hanoi, Vietnam, bird flu worries. Over the past year, the virus has killed more than three dozen people in Vietnam and Thailand, but the World Health Organization warns those numbers will rise, since the virus seems to be evolving. There are concerns the disease may become pandemic.

Moscow, Russia, an eternal alliance. On his first trip as Ukraine's new president, Viktor Yushchenko, met for nearly three hours with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who had supported Yushchenko's rival in the Ukrainian elections. Yushchenko says Ukraine plans to keep its alliance with Russia, even if the country strengthens its relationship with Europe.

Bucharest, Rumania, no baby Yahoo! Remember that story that appeared in a Rumanian tabloid about a couple who named their son Yahoo because they met over the Internet? Well, now that tabloid says the story was made up and has fired the reporter who wrote it. The reporter allegedly doctored his child's birth certificate and passed it off as belonging to the Yahoo boy.

And that's tonight's uplink.

360 next now, the O.J. Simpson murder trial. Can you believe it started 10 years ago today? Tonight, Denise Brown talks about her murdered sister and O.J.'s acquittal.

Plus, Conquering Depression, a 360 special report. "60 Minutes" correspondent Mike Wallace and his wife talk about the disease that almost led him to suicide.

And a shocking crime captured on videotape, stealing from the corpses left after the tsunami.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: And welcome back. I'm in Amman, Jordan, on my way to Baghdad to cover the elections. It's hard to believe that the beginning of this month, we were in Sri Lanka, covering the tsunami. Tens of thousands of dead in that small little island. What we saw, the world poured out their heart, gave and continues to give. It brought out in many ways the best of humanity.

But sadly, the disaster has also brought out some of the worst parts of human nature.

CNN's Satinder Bindra shows you how.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SATINDER BINDRA, CNN NEW DELHI BUREAU CHIEF (voice-over): This amateur video captures the savagery that followed the tsunami. Two men get busy robbing a dead woman. What's even worse, they come to blows over their spoils. A local cameraman filming these pictures says the incident has scarred him forever and was even more difficult to watch than the horror of the tsunami itself.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Certainly, it was so bad.

BINDRA: Ajanta Samaravitrama's (ph) footage helped police identify and capture the two men. Both are now in custody. They've been questioned and could face charges of theft.

Police report widespread looting of damaged homes and property following the tsunami. This girl lost her parents and her home, then she was sexually assaulted by one of her own relatives. She's now in an abused-children's home. This 18-year-old lost nine members of her family, then she was raped.

H.V.P.L. DE SILVA, GALLE POLICE: We have identified the suspect, but he's still at large. We are conducting investigations, and we'll see that the suspect is arrested and sent before court very early.

BINDRA: Faced with so much calamity and grief, tens of thousands of Sri Lankans are doing all they can to help. Police say only a small number are indulging in what they call shameful behavior.

DE SILVA: At a time of national crisis, this is, I'm sure, they are sick in mind. They suffer from various mental diseases.

BINDRA: The tsunami damaged at least one high-security jail. Dozens of Sri Lanka's most hardened criminals escaped, and are still believed to be at large.

(on camera): Over the past few days, angry citizens are starting to take the law into their own hands. Several suspected thieves have been beaten to pulp by mobs, and police say one man believed to have robbed a corpse was stabbed to death.

Satinder Bindra, CNN, Hikadua (ph), Sri Lanka.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Hard to believe.

Two powerful earthquakes shook survivors of the tsunamis. Here's a quick news note. There was panic on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. Following today's aftershock, people were running into the streets, fearing another tsunami would hit. At least one person was killed there. Another earthquake, this one measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale, jolted an island off India's mainland. No reports of injuries there.

ANNOUNCER: Our special series, Conquering Depression. Tonight, is depression contagious? News anchor Mike Wallace and his wife talk candidly about the devastating effect the disease had on their family and how it nearly drove him to suicide.

And the trial of the century 10 years later, a 360 interview with Denise Brown about the legacy of her sister Nicole and coping with watching O.J. walk free.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Welcome back to 360. I'm in Amman, Jordan, on my way to Baghdad to cover the Iraqi elections this weekend. Just before I left, I had an interview with "60 Minutes" correspondent Mike Wallace and his wife Mary about depression, something he and she have faced firsthand. It is very difficult on family members. We'll talk to both of them in a moment.

COLLINS: What a story they have to tell, Anderson. Thanks so much.

Also ahead tonight, the O.J. Simpson trial. It started ten years ago today. I'll talk with Denise Brown about her sister's murder and how she deals with O.J.'s acquittal.

First let's check the "Reset" tonight. In Washington the Bush administration is planning to ask for more money to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Congressional aides say the request is for $80 billion. The Bush administration could make the request as early as tomorrow.

In Miami, Florida, a trial began today concerning the deportation of the Cuban boy Elian Gonzalez nearly five years after it happened.

Thirteen people are looking for $250,000 each claiming they were injured or traumatized when federal agents stormed the home of Elian's family and took the boy in April of 2000. Elian now lives with his father in Cuba.

In New York City, the S.E.C. slaps charges on two men associated with adult magazine publisher Penthouse International. The S.E.C. accuses a former company officer and a shareholder of accounting fraud and financial reporting violations in a 2003 quarterly report. "Penthouse" magazine was put under new ownership through a bankruptcy agreement last October.

There may be some encouraging news for Viagra users. Researchers have found the impotence drug helped reduce heart enlargement in some mice with high blood pressure. Plans for a human trial are now under way.

2,000 reporters covered it, 80 books have been written about it, careers have been destroyed or launched by it. The phrase dream team took on a whole new meaning. Ten years ago today the murder trial of O.J. Simpson began in California and the whole world was watching.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We the jury in the above entitled action find the defendant O.J. Simpson not guilty of the crime of murder.

COLLINS: It was by almost any standard the trial of the century and it ended with a verdict as controversial as the crime was gruesome. Former football great turned occasional actor O.J. Simpson stood accused of brutally murdering his estranged wife Nicole and her friend Ron Goldman. Monday, June 13, just after midnight a neighbor led by Nicole's Akita discovered the bodies, both stabbed with their necks slashed. Four days ago later following a slow-speed chase on a Los Angeles freeway O.J. was under arrest. The eight-month-long criminal trial was covered, make that blanketed by a mob of media that camped outside the courthouse 24/7 and carried with it a cast of characters whose names are now etched in our memories. From Judge Lance Ito to former house guest Kato Kaelin, to Mark Fuhrman, the investigating officer described by the defense as a racist cop who planted a crucial piece of evidence, a charge he denies. The now infamous bloody glove that became a prop in one of the trial's most memorable moments.

JOHNNIE COCHRAN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: If it doesn't fit, you must acquit.

COLLINS: While O.J. was acquitted in criminal court, a civil jury found him responsible for the wrongful deaths of Ron and Nicole and awarded the victims' families $33 million, money the Goldmans are still struggling to collect.

O.J. SIMPSON: If I have to work to pay them I won't work.

COLLINS: Simpson, who swore he'd spare no expense to find what he called the real killers is mostly seen strolling around Miami golf courses these days. His daughter Sydney, now 19 and in college, is facing legal troubles of her own. She was arrested last week, and charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest following a fight outside her brother's Miami high school.

It seems in a case this controversial, the legal matters may end, the legacy is sure to live on.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(on camera): Ten years' time has not healed the pain for the families of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown-Simpson. Since her sister died, Denise Brown has devoted her life to helping victims of family violence and keeping Nicole's memory alive. I talked to Denise Brown earlier from Irvine, California.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COLLINS: Denise, take me back, if you would, ten years ago when that trial began. Eight months later it finally ended with an acquittal. How did you feel inside when you heard those words not guilty?

DENISE BROWN, SISTER OF NICOLE BROWN SIMPSON: Actually, I was in shock. I couldn't scream, I couldn't cry, I couldn't do anything. I was literally in shock. When we first went into this, I thought for sure they would find him guilty, and then as the whole thing progressed, I thought, OK, well, possibly a hung jury, but I never, never in a million years thought it was going to be not guilty.

COLLINS: In fact, if you don't mind, I want to take a look back for just a moment at some of the testimony that you gave during the case. Let's listen and I'll get your comment on the back side here.

BROWN: Then at one point O.J. grabbed Nicole's crotch and said this is where babies come from, and this belongs to me, and Nicole just sort of wrote it off like it was nothing, like, you know, like she was used to that kind of treatment.

COLLINS: It's so difficult I'm sure still to watch that today, even though it was ten years ago. What is it that Nicole told you about her relationship with O.J.?

BROWN: The funny thing is it was never negative. When she told me, she said, Denise, he's going to kill me one day and he's going to get away with it, come on, let's go have lunch or he's going to kill me one day and get away with it, come on, let's go shopping. She did it in such a flippant way that I thought, oh, she's just kidding. You shrug it off. The thing is, when somebody comes to you and says hey, he's going to kill me and get away with it one day, let's do whatever it is, take them serious, because that's the one thing I did not do.

COLLINS: You started this foundation in Nicole's name. You mentioned it was such a blurred line between when she was just kidding around and when to know when it's serious. What do you tell the people who are involved with this foundation about how to know when it's serious?

BROWN: Well, I usually tell people that if they hit you once, they will hit you again. If they ever threaten to kill you, eventually one day they will.

COLLINS: And these anniversaries have become so public, the anniversaries of the case starting, her death, moments in the trial, but I'm willing to bet you probably have very different anniversaries that you celebrate -- her birthday, the kids' birthdays. How do you mark these events personally?

BROWN: Well, on Nicole's birthday, which is May 19, we always go to the cemetery or have a birthday cake and blow out a candle, sing happy birthday to her as if she's still here, because she is still with us. I truly believe she's with me. The children's birthdays, sometimes we're able to celebrate them, with especially Justin being here in the summer time, Sydney now is off to college, but they're really doing great, remarkably good for what they've gone through and the life they've had to deal with.

COLLINS: I want to ask you before we let you go, too, about something that O.J. Simpson said in an interview. He was asked to describe you. This is what he said. He said that you were a user, "I think she's taken advantage of her sister's death for financial gain." If you had a moment to describe him, what would it be?

BROWN: Well, you know what? Everybody knows that I believe that he murdered my sister. That's one thing. I won't get into a catfight with Simpson, but I think if he truly believes that I am getting wealthy off Nicole's murder, then he needs to talk to some other people that we're trying to educate. He needs to talk to the people where I'm actually doing Nicole's work, trying to save people's lives, and you know, I mean he's really just not even worth it. I just know in my heart that I am doing the right thing, I am doing a good thing, and Nicole's memory will always be alive.

COLLINS: Denise Brown, we appreciate your time here so very much on ANDERSON COOPER 360 tonight. Thanks again.

BROWN: Thank you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COLLINS: She has come a long way.

360 next now, our special series, "Conquering Depression." News legend Mike Wallace and his wife in a remarkably frank interview about his illness and how it affected those around him.

And a little later the two little words the world will always remember when it thinks of Johnny Carson.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLLINS: If you're feeling unusually down today, exceptionally blue, then you're right on schedule, according to a British psychologist, who has calculated that January 24th is the single most depressing day of the entire year. Tonight in our special series on conquering depression, we examine the question, is depression contagious? CBS newsman Mike Wallace and his wife Mary would say it certainly hit home hard. In an interview with Anderson, they talk candidly about the way his depression took a serious toll on their family and his co-workers.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: When did you realize first you were actually depressed?

MIKE WALLACE, CBS NEWS: I was on trial for my life, Anderson. I was in a libel trial.

COOPER: The Westmoreland case.

MIKE WALLACE: The Westmoreland case. I was on trial for $120 million, in a libel suit brought against me, George Crile, the producer, and CBS. Little by little, I was finding it difficult to sleep, difficult to eat, et cetera, et cetera. It was just miserable.

COOPER: Did you know it was depression? I mean, did you realize he was depressed?

MARY WALLACE, MIKE WALLACE'S WIFE: No, I knew nothing about depression. What happens when somebody is depressed and you're the wife or the mother or son or something, you think you're doing something wrong, and you think you can fix it. And so you try this and that, and it doesn't work. And this is what's so hard about living with a depressed person, because you think it's your fault.

MIKE WALLACE: She would get up every morning and accompany me down to the courtroom, the federal courthouse. And I dreaded going down there, because, you know, when a defendant in a libel trial sits there and hears every miserable thing, you know, you're a liar, you're a fraud, you're a cheat, you are, et cetera, et cetera -- and little by little, for whatever reason -- and I had done pieces about depression before, but I never fully understood it.

COOPER: That's interesting, you had done reports on it, but you didn't feel in your gut that that's what you said?

MIKE WALLACE: No, I didn't know what the dickens I had. And the doctor said to me at the time -- and I didn't go to a psychiatrist at the time -- he said, oh, come on, Mike, you, come on, get over it, you -- you're OK.

COOPER: Your doctor said, get over it?

MIKE WALLACE: In effect, he did.

MARY WALLACE: Yeah. I think you even asked if there's some place to go and be treated for whatever is wrong, and the doctor said that would be very bad for your reputation.

MIKE WALLACE: I can't tell you how tough it is. I mean, you're copeless, you're hopeless. Your self-esteem leaves you.

COOPER: You're suicidal at times? You thought about suicide?

MIKE WALLACE: Of course. Of course.

COOPER: Was that something -- did you actually visualize it? I mean, did you make plans? Or was it just sort of impulses?

MIKE WALLACE: Oh, no, no, you think about plans -- how would you off yourself? Pills? You begin to think about, well, maybe if I put a bag over my head or something. You're sick.

COOPER: Did his depression rub off on you? MARY WALLACE: Oh, yes. I even started a little group. I'd found some other women who had husbands that were depressed, and they were so discouraged. This breaks up more marriages than anything. And we all had the same problems. We didn't know what to do. We thought we were responsible. And I hired a psychiatrist to...

COOPER: To talk to the group.

MARY WALLACE: ... get the group together and say, it's not your fault.

COOPER: I want to show you something that your executive producer, Don Hewitt, said about your work. Let's watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DON HEWITT, PRODUCER, "60 MINUTES": It's too much of soft, cuddly Mike Wallace. He goes back on the other side and becomes tough, mean, nasty.

MIKE WALLACE: You don't trust whites, you've said so. You don't trust Jews, you've said so. Well, here I am.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Was your work affected? I mean...

MIKE WALLACE: Oh, of course. Look, what you try to do is to mask it. But you don't mask it successfully. I would do an interview with somebody, like you and I are sitting here talking, I didn't know what the dickens the questions were that I was asking, and I didn't hear the answers. You were doing it basically by rote.

And the people who are the producers who were working with me -- and it's a very collaborative undertaking, as you know -- they would say, well, Mike is just -- you know, he's -- he's not very pleasant to begin with, but come on, let's help him. And they did. They helped me through it.

MARY WALLACE: It certainly affects whoever is there. I suppose the people Mike worked with, or the family -- your family, or anyone you're around, you just -- it's like a big black cloud.

MIKE WALLACE: Now people come to me, because they know I've been public about it a long time, and they'll come and tell me, and it's -- it can be cured if you stay on your medications, if you get a good shrink, if you are open about it, it can be cured.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COLLINS: Our series, "Conquering Depression," continues tomorrow with a report on shock therapy. In fact, you might be shocked to learn that it is still being used to today. Is it barbaric, or the most humane approach? We'll talk about that tomorrow. Then Wednesday, breaking the silence on pregnancy and depression.

360 next, the habit that took the king of late-night TV, Johnny Carson. How a lifetime of smoking ended his astonishing life.

Also tonight, this Sunday's elections in Iraq -- will they lead to more violence or less? Anderson takes that to "The Nth Degree."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLLINS: Reaction to the death of Johnny Carson continues to come in from all over the world. He was the best, Dave Letterman said. Jay Leno hailed him as the gold standard. And even President Bush called him a steady and reassuring presence in homes across America. Long before he rattled pencils on his desk, the king of late night TV fiddled with cigarettes. He was a smoker. And as with many smokers developed emphysema.

CNN medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, has more on the disease that took the life of the king of late night TV.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... milder, taster...

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): From cigarette dancers to Lucille Ball.

LUCILLE BALL, ENTERTAINER: Why not give your husband a carton of Philip-Morris cigarettes.

GUPTA: Even Fred Flintstone -- smoking was an accepted part of American life. Johnny Carson was no exception. As a young man, he was often seen with a cigarette in his hand, the norm for performers of his day.

LARRY KING, HOST "LARRY KING LIVE": I smoked. Carson smoked. You didn't smoke, but Carson smoked the whole show.

ED MCMAHON, ENTERTAINER: Oh yes. But later on in life, he didn't want anybody else to see it.

KING: And kept it under the table.

MCMAHON: Yes, a little -- a little ashtray under desk.

GUPTA: From ashtrays under his desk to the characteristic pen tapping. Over the years there were small signs of Carson's smoking habit, even as people became more conscious of the health risks.

DR. MICHAEL IANNUZZI, MOUNT SINAI SCHOOL OF MEDICINE: It really wasn't until the mid to late '60s that we really blamed lung disease on cigarette smoking.

GUPTA: Carson underwent a quadruple bypass in 1999, and in 2002, he announced in a statement he was battling emphysema. By that time he said he had quit smoking. Often symptoms such as shortness of breath and chronic coughing don't appear until there is long-term lung damage, common for heavy smokers. Despite Johnny Carson's battle with a common disease, he lived until the age of 79. That's two years longer than the average American man. A great run for an incredible legend.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COLLINS: Sanjay Gupta joining us now.

Sanjay, have those numbers decreased since fewer people are actually smoking?

GUPTA: Well, what we're seeing, Heidi, is actually a residual from people who smoked so many years -- years ago. So actually the numbers have increased over the last three decades. Now that fewer people are smoking are smoking now, the numbers may decrease some 20, 30, 40 years from now. But still on the rise right now. They say untreated emphysema could rob you of about 15, 20 years of your life. Treated, as with Carson, you can live a relatively normal life span, Heidi.

COLLINS: Quit smoking is the message.

GUPTA: Absolutely.

COLLINS: Sanjay, thanks very much.

GUPTA: Thank you.

COLLINS: For all of his witty jokes, perhaps the most famous line from Johnny Carson's three decades on the "Tonight Show" was one he didn't even say. It was the two words bellowed each night by sidekick Ed McMahon as Carson entered the stage and our home.

CNN's Jeanne Moos looks at the lasting legacy of "Here's Johnny."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Now that Johnny is no longer here...

MCMAHON: Here's Johnny!

MOOS: It only seems right to praise a phrase anyone of a certain age can deliver with gusto.

CROWD: Here's Johnny!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here's Johnny!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Here's Johnny!

MOOS: It's become the title of a book and subject of a song.

Here's Johnny becomes here's Norfolk, Nebraska, Johnny's hometown. Then there's Jack Nicholson's rendition in "The Shining" said to have been ad-libbed by the actor. JACK NICHOLSON, ENTERTAINER: Here's Johnny!

MOOS: Chop this. Johnny seemed to go for that sharp humor. It was Ed McMahon who dreamed up the famous phased. He says he didn't just want to say here's "Johnny Carson." He knew it was good, because the day after he first used it...

MCMAHON: Everybody I passed was says "Here's Johnny!" I said, I got a gold.

Here's Johnny!

MOOS: But this kind of John was too much for Johnny, when various port-a-john tries to call their product line "Here's Johnny, the real one sued and won. And even now if you type in www.heresjohnny, a port-a-john Web site even pops up. As for Johnny's theme song, it was written by Paul Anka and originally had lyrics sung by Annette Funicello.

(SINGING)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's like losing Elvis, I guess.

MOOS: For a comedian who was rarely grave, maybe it's a fitting epithet for his tombstone.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COLLINS: Let's see what's coming up at the top of the hour on "PAULA ZAHN NOW." And Paula, you know I have to do it -- Here's Paula!

PAULA ZAHN, HOST, "PAULA ZAHN NOW": Thank you. I don't think it will live or have the same king of legs that "Here's Johnny" did. But I appreciate it nonetheless. Tonight we'll be saying good-bye to Johnny Carson as well, we're going to have a tribute from some of his very famous friends, Phyllis Diller, David Brenner, Richard Little. They all have great stories to tell about working with Johnny Carson and being his friend.

And Then The emotional story of an army sergeant, a young woman who made the ultimate sacrifice so that Iraqis could enjoy the freedom to elect who they choose. It's really heartbreaking, on one hand, Heidi, but really reassuring on another. You'll see it tonight at 8:00.

COLLINS: All right, Paula, we'll by watching. Thanks so much.

And 360 next, six days in fact until Iraqis go to the polls. We take the good news and bad news to "The Nth Degree."

Plus tomorrow, conquering depression with shock therapy, part of our special series.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: Tonight taking good news and bad news to "The Nth Degree." So here I am in Amman, Jordan, trying to get to Baghdad to cover the elections that will take place this weekend. That's the good news, that there will in fact be elections in Iraq. The bad news is I'm still in Amman, because fighting was so heavy around Baghdad International Airport, that the Royal Jordanian flight I was on was refused permission to land and I had to turn back.

So, yes, elections represent an enormous step forward, but there are reminders every day, and more than few, that Iraq is an unsettled place, where the ballot may be new, but bombs and gunfire are not.

What will happen come Sunday?

What will happen in places that Americans had barely heard of, once but now talked about knowledgeably and with concern?

What will happen in Basra, in Baqubah, in Falluja and Mosul, Tikrit and Kirkuk?

Back home we go off to the polls feeling a great many things, but fear for our lives in not one of them. In Iraq, sad to say voters will have to feel that too, along with hope, which is where we began, with good news and with bad.

Now lets go back to New York. Our prime time coverage continues with "PAULA ZAHN NOW" -- Paula.

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